Back in 1995, without a shadow of a doubt, the most mesmerising figure in Pro Wrestling was Sabu!!! With a body full of scars from years of barbed wire matches in Japan’s FMW promotion, in the early 90’s, and insane high flying abilities made him a must see on the mid-90’s independent scene!!!
A staple of, Philadelphia’s, Extreme Championship Wrestling he was known for his wild man antics and putting people through tables. Sabu was truly unique and one of kind. So how did such an individual, who you could only really see on syndication in New York and Philly at like 2am (unless you were in the UK, where we discovered him in magazines like Pro Wrestling Illustrated, as the internet was extremely limited back in those days) end up under the same banner as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage and Sting competing on a national platform for Ted Turner’s, big money, World Championship Wrestling? Simple, WCW president, Eric Bischoff needed fresh talent to provide something different for WCW’s new weekly programme ‘Nitro’, on Turner’s TNT network, to compete with the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE) and Sabu was certainly different and what they needed to stand out!!!
Just to point out Sabu never jumped from ECW to WCW he actually left ECW for New Japan, earlier in the year, and came along as a part of the WCW/NJPW talent exchange in ’95.
Sabu had some amazing matches against Alex Wright (a great match that we previously covered on our first WrestleBiz Classics post last year), Disco Inferno and, future ECW World champion, Jerry Lynn, Mr. J.L (twice). He even got a pay-per-view match with J.L at the 1995 ‘Halloween Havoc’ event which saw his uncle, The Original Sheik, throw a fireball in J.L’s face (a real no no in mid-90’s WCW).
Unfortunately the Sabu/WCW relationship lasted only a few months as he was pretty very high risk in the ring and breaking tables wasn’t really something a mid-90’s WCW, where goofy gimmicks and PG content ruled the roost, (keep in mind at ‘HH ’95’ the company introduced the world to The Yeti! Enough said!) we’re looking to push. So by the November he was back putting people through tables at the ECW Arena!!!
It’s a shame as we reckon, had he stayed through to ’96, he could of had a decent reign as Cruiserweight champion, some insane matches with the luchadores and some classics against the likes of Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero but there were tables that needed breaking in Philly (courtesy of a somersault or two of course) and Sabu was the man for the job!!!
Note: Sabu did eventually get back on a national platform thanks to ECW’s working relationship with WWF in 1997. He had the privilege of falling off the old RAW sign on to Team Taz, on his debut, then later on facing off with Flash Funk (aka 2 Cold Scorpio) where he attempted to put him, you guessed it, through a table! We salute you Sabu!!!